Millennial says she's broke after trying to be Instagram famous

A US woman was left heavily in debt by her Instagram-worthy lifestyle.
This US woman was left heavily in debt by her Instagram-worthy lifestyle. Photo credit: Instagram / @lisettecalv

A US woman says she was left in financial ruin after trying to live an Instagram-worthy life. 

Lissette Calveiro moved from Miami to New York for an internship in 2013 - and the 26-year-old says when she arrived in the Big Apple, she felt pressured to keep up a glamorous social media presence.

"I wanted to tell my story about this young millennial living in New York," she told The New York Post. 

She would frequently splurge on brunches with friends and expensive clothes so that she could take "perfect" photos for her 12,000 Instagram followers.

Her internship was unpaid other than transportation costs, so Ms Calveiro had to work a part-time retail job to afford her lifestyle. 

Even after moving back home to Miami to work full-time as a publicist, she found herself US$10,000 (NZ$13,815) in debt thanks to her lavish spending. 

She spent a significant amount of her modest salary on clothes, with a monthly US$200 (NZ$276) shopping spree to make sure she was never seen in the same outfit twice. She would also invest in designer pieces such as Louis Vuitton bags to impress her followers. 

Ms Calveiro was also buying plane tickets to exotic locations like the Bahamas because she wanted to collect "at least 12" Snapchat geo-filters. 

"I was living above my means," she says.

In 2016 she moved back to New York after landing a job in PR, and knew that to survive in such an expensive city she would need to make some major financial changes.

She began posting old photos to Instagram instead of taking new ones, and rented expensive clothes instead of buying them. She also moved in with a roommate to cut down on rent, and began cooking from home more often.

With the help of a money-saving app, she is now debt-free and wants other young people to develop healthier habits around money. 

"Nobody talks about [his or her] finances on Instagram," she told The New York Post.

"It worries me how much I see girls care about image."